Connect with us

I’m Coming Home, I’m Coming Home, Tell the World I’m Coming Home

The return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Thailand appears to be a formality at this point; a question of when, not if. It was inevitable as soon as the polls closed in Thailand’s last election this past July which saw Thaksin’s reincarnated Pheu Thai party, headed by his sister Yingluck, emerge victorious on a tidal wave of support from the country’s rural hinterland. Thaksin has been in self-imposed exile after being overthrown in a coup in 2006. He was subsequently prosecuted and convicted in abstentia of corruption and graft and given a two year prison sentence.

Published

on

The return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Thailand appears to be a formality at this point; a question of when, not if. It was inevitable as soon as the polls closed in Thailand’s last election this past July which saw Thaksin’s reincarnated Pheu Thai party, headed by his sister Yingluck, emerge victorious on a tidal wave of support from the country’s rural hinterland.

Thaksin has been in self-imposed exile after being overthrown in a coup in 2006. He was subsequently prosecuted and convicted in abstentia of corruption and graft and given a two year prison sentence. This past December, Thailand’s Foreign Minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, announced that he had planned to issue a new passport for Thaksin. Such a move would allow the former head of government and telecommunications billionaire to return home and, in all likelihood, for him to see his prison sentence commuted by his sister.

The consequences of such a political power play could be significant. Thailand’s political system has been defined by coups and, more recently, protests, since the country’s transition to constitutional monarchy. Thaksin’s ouster in 2006 touched off a series of events which saw both supporters and opponents filling the streets at different times. Airports were shut down, the tourism industry was crippled, and over one hundred people were killed in violent clashes with the state’s security services.

Will Thaksin’s return spur similar events? The pro-monarch Yellow Shirts, members of the Bangkok elite, took a trouncing in the elections this past summer, but have consistently proven that they are strongly organized and willing to come out and demonstrate against pro-Thaksin forces. The opposition Democrat Party, for its part, has already called for Yingluck’s impeachment over the matter of her brother’s passport. Her first six months in office have hardly been smooth sailing for Yingluck. There was of course her bungled response to the devastating floods to hit the region this past fall. Now the Democrats, recovering from their heavy electoral loss, are finding an old issue to rally behind in an attempt to sandbag Yingluck’s young government. Thaksin remains a lightning rod for controversy in Thailand, and this looming showdown between opposing forces will be sure to make for great drama in Thailand in the months to follow.

Taken from:

I’m Coming Home, I’m Coming Home, Tell the World I’m Coming Home

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Currencies

Thai baht becoming the region’s worst-hit currency in COVID pandemic

According to data from its tourism ministry as well as the World Bank, Thailand had only a little over 34,000 tourist arrivals as of May 2021, compared with over 39 million in 2019, before the pandemic. Fewer tourists also means lower demand for the Thai baht.

Published

on

The Thai baht has been hit by a sharp decline in tourism numbers due to the COVID pandemic, making the country’s currency the worst-hit in the region this year, according to Mizuho Bank.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Economics

Asia’s slow rate of vaccination is a thorn in the region’s economic recovery

Southeast Asia has been hit badly. Daily infections for Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam are at their worst, on a seven-day moving average. The Philippines and Malaysia are not far off their daily infection peaks reached in the second quarter of 2021.

Published

on

Last week was tough for the Asia-Pacific region. Many countries responded to stubbornly elevated daily infections by extending or tightening social distancing measures.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14,160 other subscribers

Wise

Recent